Hammond cashes in on Tebeleff's payback, earns win over W. Lake

Senior defeats Ennis, lifts No. 11 Bears over Wildecats in tri-meet


January 29, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Since being flattened twice last winter by Matt Ennis, an eventual state championship for Wilde Lake, Hammond's Russell Tebeleff had wanted to exact revenge.

"I really wanted to get back at him badly," Tebeleff said after leading the 11th-ranked Bears to a 35-15 victory over Wilde Lake in a tri-meet with third-ranked Mount Hebron last night at Hammond. "I felt like I would able to hang with him."

The Hammond senior proved his point in the 130-pound bout, handing the All-Metro wrestler only his second loss of the season, 10-6, in a battle to the finish.

Tebeleff raised his record to 25-4 with the victory, overcoming an early 4-1 deficit. Ennis, who entered the bout with a 16-2 record that included 11 pins, had only lost previously this year to Mike Weber, a state champion from Sparrows Point.

The bout was tied at 6-6 when Tebeleff countered a takedown shot by Ennis, locking his arms around the Wilde Lake wrestler's head and forcing him to the mat in a headlock. The move earned Tebeleff the four-point margin of victory.

Tebeleff, who was third at last year's Class 2A-1A state tournament, credited a tough schedule for giving him an advantage against Ennis.

Tebeleff's only previous losses were to Delaware state champion Pat Atkinson of St. Mark's, National Preps runner-up Aaron Herwig of Mount St. Joseph, and two Virginia wrestlers - all via close decisions.

"In my opinion, he wasn't anywhere near what Herwig was, and I felt I could wrestle all the way through with Herwig," Tebeleff said. "I just kept it close all the way through and figured, correctly, that he would die in the third period.

"I've been waiting all year for this, and I knew I'd have more energy in the third period, so I just fought, fought. I knew the main thing was to protect my legs and I'd be fine."

Mount Hebron's 57-9 rout of Wilde Lake featured another battle of highly ranked wrestlers, this time, with Wilde Lake coming out on top.

The Wildecats' No. 2-ranked heavyweight, Pat Burns, raised his record to 19-0 with his 12th pin in his match against Hammond, then earned a tough 6-3 victory over Mount Hebron's third-ranked freshman Justin Neal (18-4).

Burns' turned the match in the second period, when his takedown in the final 16 seconds broke a 2-2 tie. A late reversal spelled the difference for Burns.

"That takedown was very big because someone told me that if he's down in the second period he sort of gives up," Burns said. "I think the takedown helped to make his mental mind-set drop."

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